What is Cybersecurity? Cybersecurity includes techniques and technologies that help in securing various digital components, data, networks, programs, and computers from unauthorized digital access. When you think of the term cybersecurity, it can be helpful to associate it with the digital aspect, as this specifically pertains to data that originates in digital form. Electronic data can also be referred to as digital files, and this is data saved in a computer system and is accessible to a computer program.
By associating cybersecurity to the digital aspect, a whole realm of terms, processes, guidelines, and even misconceptions come about. To start, let’s discuss what are some common misconceptions about cybersecurity. This will provide the opportunity to address some common concerns head-on!
It may be human nature to hope for the best. However, this may not necessarily be the right approach when it comes to cybersecurity. What are some common misconceptions about cybersecurity? “It will never happen to me” is up there on the list! Nothing is completely foolproof, but one can most certainly be vigilant and actively contribute by taking cautionary measures to protect digital components. Read through the list below to see if any of these other common cybersecurity misconceptions are ones that may resonate with you.
Common Misconceptions About Cybersecurity
- Only certain people or large companies are targets.
- No one will ever be able to obtain my password. Or, if my password is strong enough, I am not at risk for an attack.
- If I am using an anti-virus product, I am 100% protected.
- If an email comes from someone I know, it is safe to open it and download attachments or click-thru the links provided.
- A cyber threat would never come from the inside, they are always external.
- I would be able to tell if my computer was compromised.
- It is too expensive to implement cybersecurity measures.
- My personal devices will be safe.
- There is nothing I have or use that is worth protecting.
- Threats can only come from the internet.
- It is solely my company’s IT Department’s responsibility to protect against and fix cybersecurity issues.
A cyber-attack that is successfully executed can have a domino effect, and no one is immune. What are the more common cyber-attacks at play? Some are Malware Attacks, Phishing Attacks, Man in the Middle Attacks, and Password Attacks. Many of these attempts are cleverly disguised and appear legitimate and, therefore, one can easily be fooled into providing personal or financial data and information. Additionally, one can even be unaware and unsuspecting that their system has been compromised in the first place!
There are a lot of moving wheels within a company, budget and finances being some of them. One might feel that if a cyber-attack hasn’t happened yet, chances are that one won’t. Therefore, why would there be a need to spend all this money on implementing and beefing up Cybersecurity? While this is an
understandable view, it is important to think of the alternative and even after-effect costs. In some cases, if a company has the misfortune of falling victim to a cyber-attack, the monetary loss may not equate to much (i.e., compared to profit) and, therefore, could be considered harmless. However, also in play here are intangibles such as company reputation, customer loyalty, and brand equity. When these qualities decline, the outcome can be devastating to a company’s health and success, even if the monetary loss was deemed insignificant.
The general consensus is that while there is a cost factor involved for both cyber-attacks and implementing cybersecurity measures, the latter’s cost factor can be more readily identified upfront. It is impossible to know what the total cost is if your company falls victim to a cyber-attack; that is when it becomes really dangerous.
Cybersecurity Layers and Groundwork
Strong cybersecurity can be viewed as having multiple protection layers that span across the aforementioned digital components, data, networks, programs, and computers. All individuals play an important part when it comes to the preventative big picture. Cybersecurity systems and policies, provided they are routinely maintained and are functioning properly, will be able to aid in detecting, investigating, and mitigating vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by a bad actor!
Cybersecurity can be considered a subset of Enterprise Security. You can see a comparison of the two here. Even so, there are several categories that cybersecurity encompasses, including:
- Network Security
- Involves securing a computer network from unauthorized access.
- Application Security
- Involves using software and hardware to defend against threats.
- Information Security
- Protects digital data in storage and in transit.
- Cloud Security
- Nowadays, cloud infrastructure is so heavily used and relied on. This focuses on safeguarding digital files in the cloud.
- Data Loss Prevention
- Involves policies and procedures for handling and prevention of data loss.
Emphasis should be placed on ensuring that employees are provided with security training as well as remaining vigilant and compliant.
It is important to set the groundwork for the overall cybersecurity effort by means of establishing a formal cybersecurity policy, but it doesn’t stop there. While initial measures include building a documented information and cybersecurity policy, this policy is one that should be implemented and maintained, and continually revisited at agreed-upon intervals to review and adjust as applicable.
Criminals are always looking for new methods and means to exploit information. It is anticipated that cyber-attacks will only continue to grow over time, and potentially become even more malicious. It is
more important than ever to ensure that your company sets the groundwork and implements a solid cybersecurity plan to safeguard valuable digital data!